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Showing posts from 2004

For You, Palestine

MEMRI: Latest News: "Iran's Sahar 1 TV station is currently airing a weekly series titled 'For You, Palestine,' or 'Zahra's Blue Eyes.' The series premiered on December 13, and is set in Israel and the West Bank. It broadcasts every Monday, and was filmed in Persian but subsequently dubbed into Arabic.

The story follows an Israeli candidate for Prime Minister, Yitzhak Cohen, who is also the military commander of the West Bank. The opening sequence of the show contains graphic scenes of surgery, and images of a Palestinian girl in a hospital whose eyes have been removed, with bandages covering the sockets.

In Episode 1, Yitzhak Cohen lectures at a medical conference on the advances being made by Israeli medicine regarding organ transplants. Later in the episode, Israelis disguised as UN workers visit a Palestinian school, ostensibly to examine the children's eyes for diseases, but in reality to select which children's eyes to steal to be used for tr…

save-em-all-and-let-god-sort-them-out

A.E.Brain: "We - and by that I mean those baby-eating bloodthirsty barbarians in the Australian military - have plans for dealing with natural disasters. We - and by that I mean us Evil Warmongering Boffins that support the military - even develop simulations and models to help the guys in uniform plan what to do. Unlike some SHM readers, we don't have a direct line to God, so we don't know when and where such catastrophes will occur. The same resources that could support an armoured infantry company operating round Mosul would also be useful for relieving natural disasters, and more importantly, there are plans so to use them. We can walk and chew gum at the same time, provided we don't over-commit ourselves. That's why we have so few troops in Iraq, and resisted the strong pressure from the USA pre-war to commit more in the post-war phase. The US understood this, and didn't make a fuss about us keeping a Strategic Reserve.

More importantly, we don't just…

Scientist's invention was let go for a song

The Seattle Times: "Today, Russell does consulting from a lab in the basement of his Bellevue home to keep in the game and supplement a modest pension from Battelle.

A wooden box on a shelf contains a set of faintly scored glass plates, each about the size of a 3- by 5-inch notecard. They are precursors of the DVD; each contains a digital recording of a television show taken off the air in 1974 to prove that his idea for optical digital recording worked.

The plates, a collection of paperwork and a small trophy from Battelle are basically all he has to show for his work on a technology that changed how the world buys and stores music, movies and software.

'I didn't really expect I was going to make a lot of money, because I recognized early on it was going to take a big company to put this all together and get it out on the market, because it was a revolutionary thing,' Russell said, 'and you don't just do revolutionary things of that order without enormous sup…

WB11's 2004 Online YULE LOG!!

WB11.com: "The Yule Log, video of a blazing fireplace accompanied by holiday music, was a holiday tradition on Channel 11 from 1966 to 1989. During its hiatus, the many letters and phone calls to Channel 11 requesting its return attested to its undying popularity. The Yule Log has won its time period for WPIX in New York's overnight Nielsen Station Index ratings each year since its return to television.

The Yule Log was the creation of the late Fred Thrower, General Manager of WPIX from 1953 to 1975. 'I thought about all the cave dwellers in New York, all the apartments that don't have fireplaces,' he remembered in a 1988 interview. 'I thought this might be a wonderful way...to let people hear real good Christmas carols and to have their own fireplaces burning.'"

The UN: The World's Greatest Trade Association

Tech Central Station: "The United Nations is the pre-eminent trade association for people involved in the business of government power. Actually, it is more focused than that. The United Nations is the trade association for the world's executive branches -- the place where executive branches come together to promote their individual interests to one another, and to promote the expansion of executive authority in general. This point is often missed by UN critics who dismiss the organization as nothing more than the world's greatest debating society. These critics confuse being voluntary with being powerless. Organizations like The American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, the International Tobacco Growers' Association are all voluntary -- but certainly not powerless.

Once it is understood that the United Nations is a trade association for the promotion of executive authority, its behavior becomes almost rational. The trade association extends professi…

Tip of the Day - Tip of the Day Blog

Tip of the Day - Tip of the Day Blog : "Don't work off Floppies in Word

People who are new to computers have a tendency to store their data files, including Word documents, on floppy disks. They think this is safer, in case the hard disk has a problem. This may have been true in the early days of hard disks, but there are a number of reasons not to use floppy disks to store your documents:

   * It is much slower loading and saving documents.
   * Floppy disks are more prone to disk errors than hard disks.
   * It is too easy to misplace a floppy disk.

The biggest reason to not work on floppies has to do with how Word handles its temporary 'scratchpad' files. Microsoft designed Word to stash critical parts of the document in 'temp files' on disk instead of trusting them to RAM. There are a couple of temp files opened in the %temp% folder when Word starts, and there are two or more opened where the document file is located.

If your document file is on a floppy d…

Digital Cam media safe to fly with

Technocrat.net: "Recent tests found no evidence of X-ray scanner damage to digital camera media cards or to the images they hold. The tests of scanner models currently in use in the U.S. transportation industry were jointly conducted by the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A), the leading global association for the imaging industry; SanDisk Corporation, a manufacturer of digital media cards; and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

These findings mean that digital cameras and their image storage media can travel safely in either checked or carry-on bags, which will be reassuring to holiday travelers. And though they were not explicitly tested, it is likely that images on camera-phones will be safe in either situation as well. More care is needed for cameras with film, however, as the X-ray scanners for both checked and carry-on luggage can fog both developed and undeveloped film."

Academic turns city into a social experiment

Harvard Gazette: "The slim, bearded, 51-year-old former mayor explained himself thus: 'What really moves me to do things that other people consider original is my passion to teach.' He has long been known for theatrical displays to gain people's attention and, then, to make them think.

Mockus, the only son of a Lithuanian artist, burst onto the Colombian political scene in 1993 when, faced with a rowdy auditorium of the school of arts' students, he dropped his pants and mooned them to gain quiet. The gesture, he said at the time, should be understood 'as a part of the resources which an artist can use.' He resigned as rector, the top job of Colombian National University, and soon decided to run for mayor.

The fact that he was seen as an unusual leader gave the new mayor the opportunity to try extraordinary things, such as hiring 420 mimes to control traffic in Bogotá's chaotic and dangerous streets. He launched a 'Night for Women' and asked the…

In Germany, stately pleasure dome decreed

www.theage.com.au: "Evening visitors would see a show enacting the history of Brazil, with semi-naked Indians, shaven-headed Catholic priests and Portuguese soldiers, who on closer inspection during a preview appeared to be women wearing false moustaches. The island would also be open 24 hours and would have a late-night techno nightclub.

Mr Au admitted that one of the greatest challenges to the project had been dealing with German bureaucracy.

'There is a bamboo tower in the middle of the island. We were asked for its measurements. We have been building bamboo towers for thousands of years but have never previously measured them,' he said.

As well as teak deckchairs, the island would also offer yoga and samba lessons aimed at Berlin's affluent elderly.

....The theme park, called Tropical Islands, is being built inside a 107-metre-high, 368-metre-long hall, which was originally used to house zeppelins and is next to the site of a former Russian military airport."

Man Paid Support for Non-Existent Child

FOXNews.com :
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Bill Richardson's (search) office is calling for an investigation into how a man was forced to pay child support for a child that didn't exist.

Steve Barreras was hauled into court, peppered with threats and paid out $20,000 in child support. Then his ex-wife was ordered to produce the child in court.

So last week Viola Trevino picked up a 2-year-old girl and her grandmother off the street and promised them a trip to see Santa Claus.

Instead, she allegedly took the girl into court and said she was her daughter.

The elaborate ruse stretched over five years and involved fake DNA evidence, a forged Social Security number and birth and baptismal certificates.

State District Judge Linda Vanzi ruled the child did not exist."

In the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo

After hours of questioning of the People's witnesses (Ms. Ramos and the police officer who actually arrested Barlow), the People rested and the defense got an opportunity to call some witnesses. It ended up calling three. The first was another airport police officer, whose testimony was meant to show that screeners were somehow hoping or being encouraged to look for drugs (contrary to Federal precedent which demanded that they look only for weapons and explosives), but it didn't seem to have that effect. The second witness was a surprise witness who led to great shock and drama in the courtroom.

The surprise witness in question was a former aviation screener who worked for a foreign military during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. I didn't understand, or didn't remember, which country's military the witness said he worked for, and apparently the Federal government lawyer didn't either, because she stood up and started admonishing him that he shouldn'…

Wristbands called patient safety risk

Tampabay: "Before you wear your cool yellow LiveStrong wristband at the hospital, think twice.

Several area hospitals are putting the brakes on Lance Armstrong's cancer organization fundraising bracelets. It's not cold-hearted backlash, but rather a safety precaution.

Patients wear colored bracelets to identify safety needs, said Lisa Johnson, vice president of patient services for Morton Plant Mease Health Care. Yellow stands for 'do not resuscitate.'

'It could be confusing, particularly in the situation of a code or a cardiac arrest where people have to think very quickly,' Johnson said. 'We wouldn't want to mistake a Lance Armstrong bracelet and not resuscitate someone we're supposed to.'

......The hospitals, all associated with BayCare Health Systems, use the same color codes. Purple means the patient is at risk of falling down; red means the patient has allergies; and white is an identification bracelet.

Tampa General Hospital uses pur…

Very Stupid Brink's Home Security - Tips

Brink's Home Security - Tips:
jaynote: yes, this really is on the Brinks website. This is a very bad, very stupid idea, and if I ever was considering using Brinks, this would have made me go with their competition.

"Make Your Mark
Permanently mark your valuables to make it easier for the police to return them to you if they are stolen. Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers with a state abbreviation work best. Keep a record of marked objects. "

CNN.com - Whale sings lonely song - Dec 8, 2004

CNN.com - Whale sings lonely song - Dec 8, 2004: "LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A lone whale, with a voice unlike any other, has been wandering the Pacific for the past 12 years, American marine biologists said Wednesday.

Using signals recorded by the U.S. Navy to track submarines, they traced the movement of whales in the Northern Pacific and found that a lone whale singing at a frequency of around 52 hertz has cruised the ocean since 1992.

Its calls, despite being clearly those of a baleen, do not match those of any known species of whale, which usually call at frequencies of between 15 and 20 hertz.

The mammal does not follow the migration patterns of any other species either, according to team leader Mary Anne Daher.

The calls of the whale, which roams the ocean every autumn and winter, have deepened slightly as a result of aging, but are still recognizable.

The study by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, appears in the New Scientist magaz…

Current Chaos Manor mail

Current Chaos Manor mail
It's said that when Bismarck was prime minister of Prussia and not too occupied with other matters like the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, he made a few changes in the Prussian school system. One was that all schools found themselves with retired army drill sergeants looking after discipline. Certainly Prussia, and soon the German Empire, had the best disciplined school students and the best educated population in Europe.

Press releases - Police Department - City of Kent, Washington

Press releases - Police Department - City of Kent, Washington: "Death caused by exploding lava lamp ruled accidental

Kent, WA - November 29, 2004

At about 8:00 p.m., Sunday, November 28, 2004, an Auburn couple found their 24 year old son dead in his south Kent trailer home. Kent Police Detectives examined the scene. It appeared that something had exploded on the stove top sending shards and splinters of glass in all directions. Remnants of a lava lamp were found around the kitchen area. It is believed that for some unknown reason the deceased placed a lava lamp on the stove top to heat it up which led to the explosion of the fluid container part of the lava lamp. The deceased has several lacerations and one large shard of glass embedded in his chest.

The young man talked to this father on the phone about 9:00 a.m. Sunday. His parents were called by his girlfriend about 7:30 pm when she had not been able to contact him all day. His parents drove from their home in Auburn to …

Floyd hit kids sue for unpaid cash

CNN.com : "LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A group of former London state school children who sang on Pink Floyd's 1979 classic 'Another Brick In The Wall' have lodged a claim for unpaid royalties.

Twenty-three teenage pupils from Islington Green School secretly recorded vocals for the track, which became an anthem for children with the chorus 'We don't need no education.'

On hearing the song, the headmistress banned the pupils from appearing on television or video -- leaving them no evidence and making it harder for them to claim royalties -- and the local school authority described the lyrics as 'scandalous.'

The album sold over 12 million copies and the single became No. 1 in Britain and America.

Royalties expert Peter Rowan told Reuters he was appealing to a music royalties' society on behalf of a former pupil and was working with other members of the class. He said he was still trying to contact the majority of the group.

'They are owed t…

this is too accurate

1-700-555-4141

is a toll-free number you can dial to find out who your long distance carrier is. You'll get a recorded message telling you the name of your long distance company. It's a good idea to check it occasionally, to make sure you haven't been slammed.

Across America, low and slow

CNET News.com: "Dean Kamen designed his Segway transporter to serve as a cheap, clean and flexible form of urban transit, not as a platform for traversing national parks and encountering wildlife.

But that hasn't stopped former vacuum cleaner salesman Josh Caldwell, 27, who has put the Segway to perhaps its most grueling test yet by piloting the scooter across the length of the United States.

His journey concluded in Boston on Tuesday, a little more than three months after he and a small support crew started out from Seattle with a single Segway scooter, more than a dozen spare batteries, one loyal dog and a Jeep Cherokee filled with filmmaking gear to document the trip."

The "America at 10mph" project, hatched by Caldwell and buddy Hunter Weeks, began as something between a joke and a dare but quickly turned into a serious expedition to see America in a new way. Caldwell and Weeks plan to produce a documentary film from footage shot during the trip, showing w…

jaynote: I applaud him

Police taser 12 year old truant girlA Miami-Dade police officer used a Taser to stop an unarmed, 12-year-old girl who was running away from him after she was caught skipping school, police acknowledged Friday night.

The incident happened Nov. 5, just over two weeks after other Miami-Dade officers used a stun gun to restrain a first-grader. In that case, police said the 6-year-old boy was holding a shard of glass and threatening to cut himself. Police Director Bobby Parker defended the decision to shock the boy because he could have seriously hurt himself.

But Parker said Friday that he could not defend the decision to shock the fleeing 12-year-old, who was apparently drunk.

''Under the circumstances, we thought that he should not have used the Taser,'' Parker said referring to the officer. ``It's likely that discipline will be forthcoming.''

According to the incident report:

Officer William Nelson responded to an anonymous complaint that some kids were swim…

Credentialing: It May Not Be the Cat's Meow

Steve K. D. Eichel, Ph.D., ABPP
"After many months, I've finally been pushed to finish this article on questionable credentialing in hypnosis and 'psychotherapy.' A reporter from a major magazine wrote to 'Dr. Zoe D. Katze' for input on an article she was writing on hypnosis for childbirthing. She had stumbled across Dr. Zoe's name on the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists' website. I had to tell her the truth.

Dr. Zoe D. Katze, Ph.D., C.Ht., DAPA, is a cat. In fact, she is my cat. Those familiar with basic German have probably already enjoyed a laugh. 'Zoe Die Katze' literally translates to 'Zoe the cat.'

Dr. Katze's credentials look impressive. She is certified by three major hypnotherapy associations, having met their 'strict training requirements' and having had her background thoroughly reviewed. She holds a Diplomate in psychotherapy from an association that claims to promote the highest …

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

helping to build a world without hunger:
"Here are a few local recipes from locust-affected countries. Please send us yours!

Tinjiya (Tswana recipe): remove the wings and hindlegs of the locusts, and boil in a little water until soft. Add salt, if desired, and a little fat and fry until brown. Serve with cooked, dried mealies (corn).

Sikonyane (Swazi recipe): prepare embers and roast the whole locust on the embers. Remove head, wings, and legs, in other words, only the breast part is eaten. The South Sotho people use locusts especially as food for travellers. The heads and last joint of the hindlegs are broken off and the rest laid on the coals to roast. The roasted locusts are ground on a grinding stone to a fine powder. This powder can be kept for long periods of time and is taken along on a journey. Dried locusts are also prepared for the winter months. The legs, when dried, are especially relished for their pleasant taste.

Cambodia: take several dozen locust adults, preferab…

metaquotes: If this isn't already here, it should be

metaquotes: If this isn't already here, it should be: "From editinggod:

So, yesterday, i was feeling a little dejected from the results of the election as I stepped on the bus. Following me, was a class of small children around first or second grade. This entire class took up most of the bus, so I sat at the back with a few of the kids. There were two boys who were back there, and one of the boys was taunting the other one 'You like boys, you like boys!' The boy who was being taunted pouted and then glared, 'My GRAMMA says it's okay to like BOYS.'

What? Way to go, Gramma!

And then a bunch of other kids got caught up in the conversation. I thought they were going to be picking on the boy too, but no, they joined his side! 'My uncle likes boys!' 'My sister likes girls.' 'My uncle likes boys and his boyfriend brings me COOKIES!' and so on and so on. The teacher just smiled and sat back, letting them handle it.

At that moment, even if just …

Vaccine shortage a sympton of ailing system

Craig Westover: "To better understand the current flu vaccine shortage and the dangers of proposed policy changes for the way Americans purchase medication, it’s necessary to understand a bit about vaccine production and pricing.

Unlike pills, vaccines are developed using virus and bacteria cultures, which don’t grow on demand. Adding more people on a production line can’t shorten delivery times any more than nine women working together can have a baby in one month. A vaccine has an 8-12 month production cycle. Add to the mix a regulatory approval process, and the production to shipping cycle for a vaccine might run from 11 to 16 months or longer.

Current production methods are not responsive to changing market conditions. “Unbelievable technology” is available, but high implementation cost and low profit make it uneconomical to implement.

Why the low profit on vaccines? Consider a policy like the 1993 Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. (VFC is similar to the prescription drug …

Medpundit

Medpundit: "But yesterday's patient was the tipping point. Mr. B. is an elderly academic. You would know that just by looking at him. He carries an NPR tote bag, and reads Snail Magazine. He's a jazz afficionado, and travels to France every year to share that love with others. He speaks very carefully in a very p.c. manner. He happened to be in my office on September 11, 2001, and I very clearly remember him fretting about the effect of globalization and modernity on the world. A Kerry voter if ever there was one. Or, at least so I thought. But he has developed one of those diseases that forces a person to re-assess his life. Yesterday, he was explaining to me how his disease had made him re-examine his core beliefs, many of which he had suppressed for many years to succeed in academia. And in the midst of a discussion (or really a soliloquy, he's a professor, after all) about God and man and reason, he suddenly digressed to Vietnam, saying, in effect, it was foolish …

The Bleat

LILEKS (James): "All you need to know about Arafat was that he insisted on wearing a pistol when he addressed the UN General Assembly. And all you need to know about the UN, I suppose, is that they let him.

He’s not dead as I write this, unless of course he is. Right now Drudge has the AHH-OOOGAH WOAW WOAW WOAW HOLY CRAP flashing light up about Russians moving the missing Iraqi weapons to Syria. Who could imagine those three names mentioned in the same sentence? Perhaps “Today Russia, Syria and Iraq announced plans for a global custard franchise,” or “Surprising many long-time observers, Russia has joined with Syria and Iraq to develop a new generation of cheap, bitter cigarette where all the tobacco dribbles out one end before you even get the chance to light it.” But arms smuggling? In defiance of the UN? I’ll believe it when I see it in the New York Times."

The Hypo-Allergenic Cat

Allerca will produce the world's first hypoallergenic cats, and we expect the birth of these first special kittens in early 2007.

The cat allergen is a potent protein secreted by the cat’s skin and salivary glands. Removal of the allergen will not harm the cats in any way. The resulting hypoallergenic cats will improve the health and quality of life for millions of cat-allergy sufferers.

While some breeds of cats have been promoted as having less allergen than others, scientists that have tested this hypothesis have shown that all cats, regardless of breed, produce allergen. Allerca will produce the first cats that will not affect human allergies.

The first breed of hypoallergenic cat produced will be the British Shorthair, known to be friendly, playful and affectionate. Other popular breeds will follow soon.

Priced at $3,500, the cost of an ALLERCA kitten is similar or less than some of the more exotic cat breeds available today.

The interest in the ALLERCA hypoallergenic cat has…

Men talk to Google not girlfriends

vnunet.com:
Study reveals many men need to get out more
Robert Jaques, vnunet.com 22 Oct 2004

Men talk to their search engines more than their girlfriends, work colleagues or even their families, research has claimed.

A poll conducted by MSN Search found that search engines are the first port of call for nearly half of men seeking advice. Family are consulted by a third, while partners are the sounding board of choice for only one in four men.

In comparison, the study into gender search patterns reveals that women still opt for more traditional advice options, with one in three rating family as their number one choice for help and information.

Women were found to be far more likely than men to rely on the internet as a first port of call for health concerns, with almost two thirds regularly using it to look up medical conditions that concern them, compared with only 41 per cent of men.

Male search vanity apparently knows no bounds. Almost a third of men admit to searching for themselv…

Scientists find way to make us slaves

Times Online: "However, experiments conducted on rhesus monkeys have shown for the first time that animal behaviour can be permanently altered, turning the subjects from aggressive to “compliant” creatures.

The scientists did so by blocking the effects of a gene in the brain called D2, which cut off the link between the monkeys’ motivation and perceived reward. Humans have an identical gene.

The project was led by Barry Richmond, a government neurobiologist at America’s National Institute of Mental Health, who has detailed the findings in the journal Nature Neuroscience this month.

The work shows how the monkeys could be made to work enthusiastically for long periods without the need for a “treat”.

The experiments involved getting monkeys to operate levers in response to colour changes on screens in front of them. Normally they work hardest and fastest with the fewest mistakes if they think a reward for the “work” is imminent.

However, Richmond’s team found that they could make t…

Space Politics: Debate notes

spacepolitics.com: "If Bush is reelected, there is a good chance that his space policy could kick off a chain of events that will result in the permanent settlement of space. Mars, Moon, Asteroids, L5, whatever your space fetish is. I don't see any of the terrible things he has done having detrimental implications for more than a couple generations. However settlement of space would be a new epoch of human existence.

Kerry, even if he is able to reverse Bush's bad policies and mistakes, has given every indication that he will kill the Moon/Mars push and kill our reach out of LEO. We will continue to be a one-planet species for the undetermined future. This could set us back 30 years a-la shuttle or 300 years depending on what chain of events occur. It could literally set us back as a civilization.

With regards to the distant long term (hundreds and thousands of years), voting for Bush now might make the difference between life as we know it being stagnant or practically i…

An American in London

www.frontpagemag.com: "Here is the background scenario:  Exactly one month ago today, I was traveling on a London bus when a well-dressed woman boarded with her equally-respectable son in his school uniform. Ahead of her was an elderly American woman, who said, ‘I beg your pardon, I didn’t mean to bang into you.’ This prompted a tirade from the Englishwoman -- let’s call her Lady E -- that resembled a verbal assault by a brownshirt against a hapless Jewish pedestrian in 1933. The American -- call her Mrs. A -- sat down and cowered as the tirade continued: ‘I rejoice every time I hear of another American soldier dying! You people all deserve to die in another 9/11. You are destroying the world.’ Mrs A fought back: ‘I personally am NOT destroying the world.’ This only provoked Lady E more, and as the bus driver and passengers laughed, she screamed into the American’s face ‘I wish every one of you would leave this country and not set foot in it ever again,’ and Mrs A began to wince,…

How Not to Teach Math by Matthew Clavel

www.city-journal.org: "New York’s chancellor Klein’s plan doesn’t compute. | 7 March 2003

It wasn’t working. We’d gone through six straight wrong answers, and now the kids were tired of feeling lost. It was only October, and already my fourth-grade public school class in the South Bronx was demoralized. Day after day of going over strange, seemingly disconnected math lessons had squelched my students’ interest in the subject.

Then, quietly, 10-year-old David spoke up. “Mr. Clavel, no one understands this stuff.” He looked up at me with a defeated expression; other children nodded pleadingly. We had clearly reached a crossroads. How would Mr. Clavel, a young teacher, inexperienced but trying hard, react to David’s statement—so obvious to everyone in the class that it didn’t even require seconding?

“Look,” I began, sighing deeply. “Math isn’t half as hard as you all probably think right now.” A few kids seemed relieved—at least I wasn’t just denying their problem. “There are differ…

The Man Who Could Have Been Bill Gates

Yahoo! News: "The legend goes like this: One fateful day in the summer of 1980, three buttoned-down IBMers called on a band of hippie programmers at Digital Research Inc. located in Pacific Grove, Calif. They hoped to discuss licensing DRI's industry-leading operating system, CP/M. Instead, DRI founder Gary Kildall blew off IBM to gallivant around in his airplane, and the frustrated IBMers turned to Gates for their operating system. This anecdote has been told so often that techies need only be reminded of 'the day Gary Kildall went flying' to recall the rest. While he's revered for his technical innovations, many believe Kildall made one of the biggest mistakes in the history of commerce.

But what if that's not what happened? What if IBM and Microsoft deprived Kildall not only of untold riches but also of the credit for a seminal role in the PC revolution? That's the thesis of a chapter about Kildall in They Made America, a serious coffee table history bo…

Endangered species: US programmers

USATODAY.com: "Say goodbye to the American software programmer. Once the symbols of hope as the nation shifted from manufacturing to service jobs, programmers today are an endangered species. They face a challenge similar to that which shrank the ranks of steelworkers and autoworkers a quarter century ago: competition from foreigners.

Some experts think they'll become extinct within the next few years, forced into unemployment or new careers by a combination of offshoring of their work to India and other low-wage countries and the arrival of skilled immigrants taking their jobs.

Not everybody agrees programmers will disappear completely. But even the optimists believe that many basic programming jobs will go to foreign nations, leaving behind jobs for Americans to lead and manage software projects. The evidence is already mounting that many computer jobs are endangered, prompting concern about the future of the nation's high-tech industries.

Since the dotcom bust in 2000-…

Genesis crash linked to upside-down design

New Scientist: "Sensors to detect deceleration on NASA's Genesis space capsule were installed correctly but had been designed upside down, resulting in the failure to deploy the capsule’s parachutes. The design flaw is the prime suspect for why the capsule, carrying precious solar wind ions, crashed in Utah on 8 September, according to a NASA investigation board.

The sensors were a key element in a domino-like series of events designed to release the parachutes. When the capsule - which blazed into the atmosphere at 11 kilometres per second - decelerated by three times the force of gravity (3 Gs), the sensors should have made contact with a spring.

'It's like smashing on the brakes in your car - you feel yourself being pushed forward,' says NASA spokesperson Don Savage.

The contact should have continued as the capsule peaked at a deceleration of about 30 Gs. Then, when the capsule’s deceleration fell back through 3 Gs, the contact would have been broken, starting …

The Art, she no spell too good

AP Wire | 10/08/2004 | Misspelled library art do-over a no go: "SAN FRANCISCO - The artist who misspelled the names of famous people in world history on a large ceramic mosaic outside Livermore's new library can spell one word with ease: N-O. That's Maria Alquilar's new position on fixing the typos.

She had planned to fly to California and put the missing 'n' back in Einstein and remove the extra 'a' in Michelangelo, among other fixes. But after receiving a barrage of what she called 'vile hate mail,' Alquilar said Livermore is off her travel itinerary and there'll be no changes by her artistic hand.

'No, I will not return to Livermore for any reason,' Alquilar, of Miami, told The Associated Press in an e-mail. 'There seems to be so much hatred within certain people. They continuously look for a scapegoat. I guess I am the sacrificial goat.'

She previously told officials in Livermore, about 40 miles east of San Francisco, th…

Can Ferrets REALLY Watch The Matrix?

SciScoop: "'The basic findings are exciting enough, but you can't help but speculate on what they might mean in a deeper context,' says Weliky. 'It's one thing to say a ferret's understanding of reality is being reproduced inside his brain, but there's nothing to say that our understanding of the world is accurate. In a way, our neural structure imposes a certain structure on the outside world, and all we know is that at least one other mammalian brain seems to impose the same structure. Either that or The Matrix freaked out the ferrets the way it did everyone else.'"

Space Experience session

RocketForge :: A Blog for the Space Age: "Joe Horsting (Intrepid Digital Design Studios) is talking about MMORPGs. Nothing new here for those who know what MMORPGs are. The absolutely funniest thing just happened. Joe was making assertions about costs to deploy a game and John Carmack asked for details and then disagreed with his cost estimates (they were really talking about two vastly different market segments). But Joe had no idea who he was talking to. He asked, slightly incredulously, 'So what part of the gaming industry do you work in?' The room immediately fell completely apart. The biggest 'lol' I've seen in a while. You have to feel sorry for the guy, but that was just damn funny."

Man dies after pet hamster bites him

Mainichi Interactive:
SAITAMA -- A middle-aged man died here earlier this year from asthma after he was bitten by his pet hamster, a local hospital said.

In February, the man suffered from an allergic disease called anaphylaxis after the hamster's saliva entered his body when he was bitten by the pet, triggering asthma symptoms, according to the Saitama Red Cross Hospital that treated him.

Anaphylaxis is an allergic disease that occurs when protein or other foreign substances enter one's body multiple times and the immunity system becomes oversensitive, according to experts. The disease quickly paralyzes circulatory organs or respiratory organs.

The man in his 40s, whose name was not disclosed, had been bitten by his pet hamster many times, Kazuya Kiyota, a doctor at the hospital, said.

In February this year, he had a fit of coughing and collapsed after being bitten on the finger by the animal. By the time he was admitted to hospital, his heart and lungs had stopped functioni…

Increase your breast measurements by this ringtone

Mobile phone news:Posted Friday, September 24, 2004
Some of the silly tunes Japanese pay to download to use as the ring tone for their mobile phones sure have their knockers, but it's for precisely that reason that a well-known counselor is raking it in at the moment, according to Shukan Gendai (10/2).

Hideto Tomabechi -- who first made headlines in Japan almost a decade ago after he cured brainwashed members of the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult that unleashed deadly sarin gas on the Tokyo subway system -- claims to have developed a tune for ring tones that promises to increase the breast measurements of those who listen to it.

And Tomabechi's brainchild for better busts has boomed, with chest challenged chicks swarming to transfer data to their own phones.

'I listened to the tune for a week expecting all the time that I was being duped,' says Chieri Nakayama, a 19-year-old pin-up model, tells Shukan Gendai. 'But, incredibly, my 87-centimeter bust grew to 89 centimet…

Presidential Mask Election Predictor

PresidentialMask: "What is the Presidential Mask Election Predictor? In 2000, due to the popularity of political masks, BuyCostumes.com began publishing statistics on each Presidential Candidate's mask sales. It was soon apparent that the mask sales were as good a resource as the polls being published by major national media groups. Seeing the similarities, BuyCostumes.com then looked into some data on political mask sales in election years. Not only did they ask five different mask manufacturers, they also spoke with 12 national stores about their sales history all the way back to 1980. Their findings were astounding and right every time...."

Sale Stats as of : 9/24/2004
George W. Bush 56%
John Kerry 44%

Couple in hospital after oral sex accident

Ananova : "A couple have reportedly ended up in hospital after painfully finding out that oral sex and cooking don't mix.

The woman is said to have bitten the man's penis after he spilt hot oil on her back as she performed the sex act while he made pancakes.

It is the second similar accident in Romania in two years. In November 2000, Ananova reported how the same thing happened to a couple in Bucharest as a man was frying chips.

The embarrassed young couple in the latest episode have asked doctors in Craiova not to reveal their identities.

The man came to hospital with his penis severely bitten, while his girlfriend had burns on her back and an injury in her head.

A paramedic says the surprised man hit her on the head with the pan after his penis was bitten, reports Romania's Editie de Oltenia newspaper. They were both allowed home after treatment."

Disney (The Three Little Molesters)

Urban Legends Reference Pages: "In 2004, a Disney cast member was actually prosecuted on criminal charges. Michael C. Chartrand, a Walt Disney World employee who worked inside a Tigger costume, was the subject of a police investigation after a 13-year-old girl complained that he had fondled her breast while she posed for a photo with him and her mother in WDW's Magic Kingdom park on 21 February 2004. (The girl's mother maintained that she had been similarly fondled, but her allegation was not an element of the criminal case.) Mr. Chartrand was arrested in April 2004 and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child and simple battery; by the following week 24 more complaints about him had been lodged with authorities. (All of the other complainants either lacked sufficient evidence to press charges or were unwilling to do so, however.)

Mr. Chartrand declined a plea bargain and took his case to trial, and in August 2004 a jury deliberated for less than an hour b…

Enola Gay History Lithographs

"LITTLE BOY": Atomic Bomb Model



We originally produced these models for displays at various Air Museums across the country, Including the National Atomic Museum, Pima Air & Space Museum & the National D-Day Museum. First time offered to the public! 1/12 scale model is apx. 10 inches long, base is 16 1/2 long Hand crafted of solid Mahogany. Exacting detail (taken from original drawings) Data plate individually hand signed by BGen. Paul Tibbets $250.00 includes shipping & insurance.

W Ketchup™

W Ketchup™: "You don’t support Democrats. Why should your ketchup?
W Ketchup™ is made in America, from ingredients grown in the USA.
In side-by-side taste tests of five leading brands, we found that W Ketchup is second to none. You'll never go back to Heinz again! W Ketchup is America’s Ketchup™"

Inventing the Suicide Bomber

The American Spectator: "Steve Englehart has no clear recollection of inventing the suicide bomber.

'Two factors come into play to limit what I can give you here,' he writes in response to my e-mail. 'The story's over 30 year[s] old, and, it was, as noted, not one of the AVENGERS stories that's garnered a lot of attention in those 30 years, so whatever memories I may have have not been jogged much in the interim.'

The story in question appeared in Avengers 113, dated July 1973 and titled 'And Your Young Men Shall Slay Visions,' during Englehart's lengthy stint as scripter on what was then Marvel Comics' flagship superhero team. (The now-wildly popular X-Men were then obscure.) Given Englehart's workload in those days, it's not in itself surprising that a single issue of a single title should slip his mind."

Blood on Their Hands

independent.co.uk The things Smither has seen in the course of his work have not led him to a positive view of humanity. "I hate people more than I ever have," he says. "I'm pretty cynical. About 80 per cent of everyone we deal with is a borderline scumbag. You know - you let grandma die on the floor and rot for 60 days, then the janitors are cleaning, and you get to the house and start fighting over her belongings? That classifies you in my opinion as a scumbag."

Does that happen a lot?

"Oh, all the time. All the time. Or just the way they live, you know? It's very common for us to go into a house that's three-, four-, five- feet deep in trash. Little canals everywhere. They're shitting in buckets on the floor. They live like animals. It's very common. We've done thousands of 'em."

From his desk drawer, he pulls a sheaf of Polaroids taken inside garbage houses, and hands me one.

"Here's a good example - that's a …

Spaceman meets the stars

MSNBC - Alan Boyle: Cosmic Log: June 23, 2004 | 4:30 a.m. ET

A day after Mike Melvill took his first ride into outer space, he took his first ride in a limousine — for a late-night chat with Jay Leno on the 'Tonight' show.

The SpaceShipOne test pilot, along with designer Burt Rutan, sat beside 'Spider-Man' star Tobey Maguire on NBC's set in Burbank, Calif., on Tuesday night and recapped Monday's first-ever spaceflight by a privately developed rocket ship. (NBC is a partner in the MSNBC joint venture.)

Melvill said the 5-G descent from a height of 62 miles (100 kilometers) ranked among the scariest parts of the flight:

'Tou hear this hurricane sound of wind roaring through the tailbooms of the airplane, and it's just a terrifying sound,' he told Leno. 'And you think, 'Oh my God, please hold together.' And I think, 'Well, Burt designed it — the damn thing better hold together.''

The 'Tonight' show also played the video…

Air America: The Corporate Law Aspects

ProfessorBainbridge.com: "As reported in today's WSJ (available free here), Air America is in deep financial trouble:
Many of Air America's investors and executives say they thought the network had raised more than $30 million, based on assurances from its owners, Guam-based entrepreneurs Evan M. Cohen and Rex Sorensen. In fact, Air America had raised only $6 million, Mr. Cohen concedes. Within six weeks of the launch, those funds had been spent and the company owed creditors more than $2 million.
When the problems came to light, 'we realized that we had all been duped,' says David Goodfriend, the company's acting chief operating officer.Indeed, if the facts turn out to be as the article reports, there is a very high probability that investors will be able to sue Cohen and Sorensen for securities "

COFFEEBREAK CAR

Velox 2Cup BERTONE Design
Espresso Brewer
: "Enjoy a great cup of espresso in your car, truck, motor-home or boat with COFFEEBREAK CAR. You just have to plug it into the cigarette lighter and in a few minutes you'll have your coffee anywhere you want !! It is works with both 12V or 24V. The Car model is completed with an elegant travelling case that has been also designed by Bertone."

1.3kg meteorite

STUFF: "American collectors with open chequebooks are expected in New Zealand within days to bid for the 1.3kg meteorite which exploded through the roof of an Auckland house yesterday.



The hit is a billions-to-one event which adds thousands to the value of the grapefruit-sized rock which plummeted through the tiled roof of Phil and Brenda Archer's Ellerslie home at 9.30am.

Collectors are also expected to begin combing the suburb for other pieces which may have survived the molten descent.

It is only the ninth meteorite ever found here and the first to hit a home. The last one was found in 1976 but it is not known when it landed. Worldwide, such strikes happen only once every three or four years.

'I was in the kitchen doing breakfast and there was this almighty explosion,' said Brenda Archer. 'It was like a bomb had gone off. I couldn't see anything, there was just dust. I thought something had exploded in the ceiling. Phil saw a stone under the computer and it…

Kevin Kelly -- Cool Tools

A Framework for Understanding Poverty
Understanding the culture of poverty
Paperback: 205 pages
Publisher: Aha Process Inc; Revised edition (2001)
ISBN: 1929229143

Poverty is not just a condition of not having enough money. It is a realm of particular rules, emotions, and knowledge that override all other ways of building relationships and making a life. This book was written as a guide and exercise book for middle-class teachers, who often don't connect with their impoverished students--largely because they don't understand the hidden rules of poverty. In the same way, poor children misconnect with school because they don't understand the hidden rules of middle-class life. Ruby Payne, a former teacher and principal who has been a member of all three of the economic cultures of our time (poor, middle-class, and wealthy) compassionately and dispassionately describes the hidden rules and knowledge of each. I think it's useful not just for educators, but for anyone who ha…

Thieves Steal Computers at Hong Kong Fair

baltimoresun.com : "Thieves snatched two computers from a Hong Kong trade fair, a particularly brazen act considering that the victims were security companies showing off the latest crime-stopping technology.

The thieves stole two laptop computers worth $2,500 from the Asia Securitex 2004 trade show on Wednesday, police spokeswoman Carrie So said.

'If you can't expect good security here, where can you expect it?' exhibitor Shinah Lunty was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post newspaper. Lunty told the newspaper that her mobile phone, worth $260, was also stolen.

Hong Kong police inspector Bob White said he suspected a mainland China gang targeted the exhibition because it was seen as a place for 'easy pickings,' the newspaper reported. "

Burning Questions: When Good Discs Go Bad

PCWorld.com: "Ever wonder what makes a disc bad? Here's why they vary in quality, and why you should worry about the discs you've entrusted with your data.

Melissa J. Perenson, PC World, Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Burning CDs and DVDs is the easy part.

Knowing your data will be there when you go back to it days, months, or even years later--well, that's a bit harder. Not all discs are created equal, as Fred Byers, information technology specialist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, can attest.

Byers is part of a team heading up an independent study of DVD media quality. Based on the first wave of testing results, the situation is murky at best."

Linux in Government

Federal Contracts, a New Era of Competition: "Peter Gallagher, of DevIS worked diligently for several months to have the first federally funded GPL project released. When he finally saw light at the end of the tunnel, he realized he achieved his goal but not without a high degree of difficulty. It took nine months of negotiations, extensive legal fees and many sleepless nights--a high cost for a small business. He still wonders if he created a model agencies can follow in the future. Peter explains:

Our experience working with the Dept. of Labor to have our work released under an OSS license was telling. Here we are talking about software development that was funded by the government as opposed to buying a license in an existing product. The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) have something called 'Rights in Data' that are part of any Federal contract. The basic clause says authors generally have the right to their copyright--this applies to a research paper as well as…

Shoulder Surgery

I am Jack's inflamed rotator cuff. This is your life, and it's being recorded, one second at a time. Okay, so I had to work a Fight Club reference somewhere.
About 9 years ago my dad was needing some relief from persistent shoulder pain. After the fun and joys of X-rays and MRI's he elected to have surgery to correct a bone spur that had literally torn the innards of his rotator cuff apart.
And now for your viewing pleasure, Punkin Eater's shoulder surgery.
(go to link for the video)

Driving Mr. Albert

A Trip across America with Einstein's Brain
ISBN: 0641585330
Format: Paperback, Non-fiction
Pub. Date: May 2004

Albert Einstein's brain floats in formaldehyde in a Tupperware bowl in a gray duffel bag in the trunk of a Buick Skylark barreling across America. Driving the car is Michael Paterniti, a young journalist from Maine. Sitting next to him is an 84-year-old pathologist named Thomas Harvey who performed the autopsy on Einstein in 1955 -- and simply removed the brain and took it home. And kept it for over forty years.

Paterniti is driving Harvey and the brain from New Jersey to California, where Harvey will show it to Einstein's granddaughter, Evelyn, and also display it to a group of high school students. Driving Mr. Albert is a map of their ten day adventure. With the brain as both cargo and talisman, Paterniti perceives every hotel, truckstop diner, and casino as a weigh station for the American dream in the wake of the scientist's mind-blowing legacy.

Billboards,…

New York Brain Bank at Columbia University

NYBB -- Shipping Information: "These instructions (PDF-Version) outline the procedures of packing a fresh brain for shipment to the NYBB. Click on figures to enlarge them. Upon request, we provide packing material. For further assistance call (212) 305-2299."

Kerry's Daughter Wins Fellowship

Wizbang: "You're never too rich to suck a little money off the federally funded tit...

KETCHUM, Idaho -- Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has announced that his daughter Vanessa has won a Fulbright scholarship to study medicine in London.

Vanessa Kerry is a 27-year-old Harvard medical student who frequently travels with her father's campaign.

According to the Fulbright Web site, about 1,000 U.S. students are awarded the federally funded fellowships each year of about 4,500 who apply. Kerry told reporters traveling with him to a long weekend vacation in Idaho on Saturday that Vanessa Kerry recently learned she was one of this year's winners.
Her stepmother is worth over $1.5 billion dollars, and there's her father bragging how she's taking money for a fellowship she doesn't need. I'm sure she earned the fellowship, but there are probably lots of applicants that didn't get accepted that could use the money.

In contrast her step brother, H. …

Doggie Cell Phone

((O)) Pet's Mobility: "The patent pending PetsMobility™ PetsCell TM will be compatible with existing cellular and satellite GPS technology. The PetsCell™ will allow pet owners to talk to their pets as well as allowing owners to request assistance should they become incapacitated and require help. In addition, and perhaps more valuable, pet owners will have a piece of mind that if their pet is lost and someone finds their pet wandering the streets, with a simple press of a button on the PetsCell™, the auto dial function will dial the owners home alerting the owner to retrieve their pet.

While on vacation, at work, or on the road, pets can be contacted by that friendly recognizable voice of their owners.

The PetsCell™, 2-way communication device will also be available with an optional GPS tracking chip and a fibre optic camera for search and rescue applications."

Daily Kos

Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.: "Its about time that I sat down and told you this. I was hoping it wouldn't have to be me, but someone needed to finally do it. For quite some time now, you have been going off about what we 'need' to do in Iraq. You have been telling us how 'things are going' over there, and making suggestions and proclamations about what 'we need to do' based on what you seem to believe is a wealth of knowledge about the situation.

Well, I'm here to finally tell you what you what no one else seems willing to say: you don't know shit about Iraq. In fact, you don't even know how much shit there is about Iraq that you don't know."

jaynote: good rant covers 17 points about what you probably don't know

Children's Books for Geek Parents?

Slashdot: Write your own ... (Score:5, Funny)
by Breakerofthings (321914) on 01:21 AM -- Saturday September 18 2004 (#10283229)

Be sure to write it in perl, basic, or maybe logo ... at least pseudocode :)

#!/usr/bin/perl
my $jane = Girl->new(age => 7);
my $spot = Doggie::JackRusselTerrier->new();
$jane->see($s pot);
$jane->see($spot->run);

Wow. I can't believe I just wrote that ... must get out more...

The possible titles amuse me ...
Junie B. Jones Determines that Cleaning Her Room is NP-Complete
The Little Finite State Automaton That Could
Goldilocks and the Three SysAdmins
The Monsters in My Code

OK, it's late. My apologies for subjecting you all to my incoherent rambling ... mods, please mod me '-1 lame'

BTW, I tell my daughter that I write video games (I am a developer, but not a game developer) because, at 8, that is the only software that she can relate to.

National Association of Record Industry Professionals

[narip.com]: "National Association of Record Industry Professionals’ (NARIP) 'Incredible Shrinking Profit Margin' program, a look into how major labels are providing fewer services while attempting to grab a piece of artists' publishing, merchandising, touring and more.

....The session was funny, lively, controversial, cynical, hopeful and exciting. Before the session, it seemed that this topic would lead to a gloomy recitation of low sales figures. But the three panelists mixed facts and a fantastic amount of passion into their presentations – so much, in fact, that they would have goosed an audience even if they’d been discussing the phone book.

Who's Who on the NARIP Panel:
Participating in the discussion were Darryl Franklin (Business & Legal Affairs for Interscope, A&M, Geffen and DreamWorks Records), entertainment attorney Dina LaPolt (LaPolt Law) and Carol Peters (Peters Management Syndicate). Each has an excellent track record (see bios at the en…

Teacher Arrested After Bookmark Called Concealed Weapon

local6.com: POSTED: 10:17 am EDT September 17, 2004
TAMPA, Fla. -- A weight may soon be lifted off a Maryland woman charged with carrying a concealed weapon in an airport.

It wasn't a gun or a knife. It was a weighted bookmark.

Kathryn Harrington was flying home from vacation last month when screeners at the Tampa, Fla., airport found her bookmark. It's an 8.5-inch leather strip with small lead weights at each end.

Airport police said it resembled a weighted weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious. So the 52-year-old special education teacher was handcuffed, put into a police car, and charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

She faced a possible criminal trial and a $10,000 fine. But the state declined to prosecute, and the Transportation Security Administration said it probably won't impose a fine.

Harrington said she'll never again carry her bookmark into an airport."

Thai doctors blame penis hacking craze on lingering polygamy

PJI: "They have been boiled, fed to ducks, even attached to hot air balloons and cast into the night sky -- when it comes to permanently depriving a cheating lover of a recently severed penis, the imagination of the wronged Thai woman knows few bounds.

Thailand has become the world centre of penis reattachment surgery, but then it has been forced to be. While not unique to the kingdom, penis severing has been honed here to its most devastating effect through a heady mixture of routine infidelity, assertive womanhood and a national cuisine that lends itself to a kitchen full of sharp knives.

....According to the surgeon there are no solid numbers on how many Thai victims there have been because embarrassed patients, including some public figures, always seek discreet doctors, or disappear immediately after treatment.

He said it was now possible to make replacement penises from arteries and skin taken from other parts of the body that could be inflated with pumps, but warned men w…

Democrats More Likely To Steal Hotel Towels Than Republicans

NCBuy: We all know Democrats are more likely to vote for John Kerry, but did you know that members of the left-leaning party are also more likely to steal towels from hotels?

According to research by the advertising firm Margeotes Fertitta and Partners, 35 percent of people who admit to heisting linens from hotels are Democrats, compared to only 26 percent who are Republicans.

Other differences between the parties...

-- Democrats say they enjoy their sex lives more than Republicans, 33 percent to 24 percent.

-- Republicans are less likely to cheat on their significant other. Only 19 percent of perennial cheaters are Republicans, compared to 38 percent who are Democrats.

-- Finally, 58 percent of people who never speak to their parents are Democrats, while only 16 percent are Republicans."

Sinister form of flattery

mainetoday.com: " 'The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines' (Paraview Pocket Books, $14).

Coleman, 57, lives in Portland and has been working in the mental health field for more than 35 years. He's a former senior researcher at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Policy and has written or edited more than 20 books, including 'Suicide Clusters' in 1987.

Q: Besides the sheer number of violent acts that are similar, what is the most persuasive evidence you found that media coverage triggers violence?

A: What I did was take the research studies, done from the 1960s through the 1990s, in which people tracked reports in the media and then tracked what kind of causal effect they had in three days, one week, one month. I decided to take this very dry research and put it together with actual cases.

Kurt Cobain's suicide, for instance. There were 70 or 80 other (suicides) modele…